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Published on Friday, May 31, 2013

Public Works Trust Fund: Still in danger

As state budget negotiations continue, the fate of the Public Works Trust Fund (PWTF) remains uncertain. Please continue to emphasize to your legislators – especially those involved in budget negotiations – how critical the PWTF is to economic development, job creation and maintenance of critical infrastructure.

As a recap, the Governor, the Senate, and the House have proposed different approaches to the PWTF. While not ideal because of a $100 million diversion of PWTF revenues into the state General Fund, at this point in the process the House approach is the better one for cities. Of particular concern to cities is the permanent diversion of revenues to the PWTF under the Senate approach in SB 5895. This not only affects the construction loan list for 2014, but permanently shrinks the PWTF loan program.

  Public Works Board
Recommended 2014 Construction Loan List
Governor Inslee’s
2013-14 Budget Priorities
Proposed 2014 Construction Loan List
Proposed 2014 Construction Loan List
Size of loan list $715 million $350 million $268 million $350 million
Temporary diversions of revenues from the PWTF to state General Fund None $125 million $15 million $100 million
Permanent revenue diversions   None None SB 5895 permanently diverts 67% of the Real Estate Excise Tax, 100% of the Public Utility Tax, and 100% of the Solid Waste Tax revenues from the PWTF to the Education Legacy Account. Over six years, $368 million is diverted from the account. None